05/03/2021 - 13:00

Border with Victoria to open, AstraZeneca arrives

05/03/2021 - 13:00

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The state's hard border with Victoria is scheduled to be lifted by mid-March, as the state government announces the latest stage of eased restrictions.

Border with Victoria to open, AstraZeneca arrives
Premier Mark McGowan announced that the state's border with Victoria would be lifted from next Monday.

The state's hard border with Victoria is scheduled to be lifted by mid-March, as the state government announces the latest stage of eased restrictions.

During a press conference this afternoon, Premier Mark McGowan confirmed that Victoria would move to low risk by Monday, provided no new cases of community transmission are recorded between now and then.

The lifting of those restrictions will mark the first time that Western Australia has been open to all Australian jurisdictions since the implementation of the controlled border.

The move means travellers will not be required to quarantine for 14 days, but all arrivals at Perth airport will undergo a health assessment.

Mr McGowan also announced the easing of social distancing restrictions to be eased to allow for increased capacity at public venues.

From March 15, restaurants, cafes, bars, cinemas, and places of worship will be permitted to operate at 75 per cent capacity or under the two-square-metre rule.

Australian Hotels Association WA chief executive Bradley Woods said the state's hospality venues were on their way towards a major economic recovery.

“Today’s announcement is the result of months of strong advocacy efforts from the AHA," he said.

"We have been impressing on government the need to allow venues to trade at a higher capacity in order to recoup losses incurred over the past year and recover strongly in 2021.

“The increased venue capacity will impact not only on bars, pubs, restaurants and taverns but also on functions and event facilities for weddings, conferences and gala dinners."

The capacity measures could loosen further in the coming weeks, Mr McGowan said.

His update followed a national cabinet meeting and a meeting of the state's disaster council this morning and coincides with the arrival of 21,000 doses of the AstraZeneca, with immunisations expected to start on Sunday.

“AstraZeneca is just as effective as Pfizer,” Mr McGowan told reporters.

“I know there are things being said about both of them, but they both work as well as each other.”

The premier also announced that a new clinic would be established at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre to assist with the roll-out of the vaccine and urged all Western Australians to get vaccinated when their time comes.

About 5,500 Western Australians have already received their first dose Pfizer vaccine as part of the first cohort, which included front line workers and hotel staff.

Meanwhile, the state's international arrivals cap will also be increased to 1,025 per week from March 26.

Mr McGowan said he, along with Victorian Premier Dan Andrews, requested the federal government implement a COVID-19 testing regime overseas to ensure a reduction in the number of positive cases in hotels.

"That means we can up our numbers of returning Australians," Mr McGowan said.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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